The Mystic Cup:
The Essential Mystical Nature of the Bahá'í Faith

By LeRoy Jones

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #32
Bosch Bahá'í School: California, USA
November 23–26, 2000
(see list of papers from #32)

published in Lights of Irfan, volume 2, pages 69-82
© 2001, ‘Irfán Colloquia

    The concept of the "mystic cup" and its heavenly draught is a fine thread woven throughout Bahá'í sacred writings, repeatedly disclosing the fundamentally mystic character of the Bahá'í Faith. However, in the u.s. Bahá'í community there is often a lack of awareness and little intuitive sense for what constitutes the mystical. Even though the situation has improved in recent years', many deepened Bahá'ís have little idea what the word means. Given the lack of depth of understanding within the Bahá'í community as well as the misappropriation of the word in popular culture we have a majority of the Bahá'ís with a weak grasp of what constitutes mysticism. "The Mystic Cup" shows that the Bahá'í Faith is first and foremost mystical and clarifies the Bahá'í concept of the mystical. 'Abdu'l-Bahá's projection of a "mystic oneness" that will gradually bond all the hearts of the world is a basis for much of the paper. The notion of "heart" appeals to a wider audience. The paper establishes the "heart" as the center of the "mystic feeling" and discuses how this heart-centered mystic oneness not only incites individual spiritual transformation but is at the core of all social and administrative remedies necessary to finally effect the "mystic change" that the Guardian predicts will take place in society as a whole. Arguments are well supported and the author believes we as Bahá'ís must give this area much more attention.

    See also an early draft of this article, as first posted at Baha'i Library Online:

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